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Iran said that it launched on Tuesday production of crude oil - at an initial rate of 15,000 bpd – from the Azar oil field that it shares with neighboring Iraq.
Crude oil production from the field is expected to double in the spring, and then reach 65,000 bpd by the end of the next Iranian calendar year in March 2018, Iranian oil ministry’s news service, Shana, reported on Tuesday.
The development plan of the project consists of drilling a total of 19 wells in 55 months, as well as designing and building required surface facilities, separation units and transport pipelines.
According to Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, production of crude oil from the Azar field can reach 100,000 bpd once its second phase development project becomes operational, Iran’s oil ministry news service claims.
According to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, Azar, as well as the Changuleh field, are two of the most recent discoveries in the Islamic Republic. The two fields lie within the prolific Zagros fold belt in the west of Iran on the border with Iraq. Unlike Changuleh, Azar is a joint field shared with Iraq, and the Iraqi part of Azar is called Badra.
The stony surface conditions at the Azar field have impeded development, according to Oil & Gas Journal which says that the field is estimated to contain 400 million barrels of oil.
Related: An OPEC Deal Extension Won’t Affect Oil Prices
Iran is firm in its self-proclaimed mission to reach pre-sanction levels of oil output and exports, and is using to the full the kind of ‘exemption’ it obtained from fellow OPEC members to slightly raise output while others have to cut.
In the past few weeks, Iran and Iraq agreed to bury their differences on joint oil fields and build a pipeline to export crude oil from the Kirkuk fields, in the north of Iraq, through Iran, according to media in the Middle East.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.